Brother Basilian O'Connell, FSC entered the juniorate in Barrytown in 1932 after earlier schooling that took him from an industrial school in Donegal, Ireland, to Holy Name School in New York and then a year at Commerce High School in New York. Sixteen years old at the time and a tad older and a bit more worldly-wise than the other juniors he got to be known as "Pop," a nickname that stayed with him for the rest of his life. He was invested with the religious habit in 1935.
Before completing his college studies at Catholic Univeristy he was assigned in 1939 to St. Mary's Parish School in Yonkers for three years and then to La Salle Military Academy in Oakdale, where he presided over the elementary department for ten years. In 1953, he went to St. Bernard's High school and subsequently served in the day juniorate as Sub-Director and then Pro-Director. THis was followed by a two-year stint as econome at De La Salle College in Washington DC.
Then came a series of assignments teaching high school classes at CBA Lincroft, CBA Syracuse and in 1968 back to Yonkers, this time at Sacred Heart High School. In 1974 he was made Sub-Director of the short-lived retirement residence at Garrison NY.
His kindly manner and concern for the Brothers marked his ministries from then on: briefly as Director of the Provincialate community in 1977, then as Sub-Director at De La Salle Hall for ten years. From 1994 to 1998, he alternated between Lincroft and Syracuse until he finally retired at De La Salle Hall where he died on May 19, 2002.
Over all those years his avuncular was of "touching the hearts" of students, and his paternal concern for the sick and elderly Brothers, proved that the nickname by which he continued to be known affectionately by his Brothers was indeed appropriate.